Gadsden Murder Motive: Robbery

By: Marise Estime
By: Marise Estime

A Gadsden County teenager is now behind bars, accused of killing the man he says robbed him two weeks ago.

Family and friends describe the victim as a young man with a great sense of humor, one who would never hurt a soul. The family also says they have no knowledge of the robbery.

Derrick Dawkins had a difficult time Thursday night, reliving the nightmare of watching his childhood friend, Cedrick Parks, gunned down right in front of him at the Parkview Manor Apartments in Quincy. He says, "He died in my lap. It's painful right now; it's sad thinking about it. It hurts a whole lot."

Deputies say around 7:00PM Thursday night, Parks was sitting in his car at the apartment complex, when 18-year-old Robert Bryant fired multiple shots, striking him several times.

Bryant later turned himself in, telling deputies Parks robbed him at gunpoint two weeks ago.

Parks' death is especially painful for his family, who is still dealing with other losses.

"I didn't know which way to go. I just talked to him, it hadn't been 20 minutes and he just left to go to town. Then I heard he was shot over there,” says Christine Parks, Cedrick's grandmother.

LaShanda Parks says, "It was Cedrick's brother, then my sister and our uncle, now Cedrick. It's just so much going on. Everybody needs to come together and be friends be close."

Parks was extremely close to his girlfriend, Veronica Peoples, the mother of his young son.

Veronica adds, "I have a six month baby by him. My baby is going to miss his father because he was learning about him and connecting with [him]. He had my baby everyday."

For now, Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators are combing Parks' car for evidence, trying to make sense of this senseless crime.

Parks was just 21-years-old. He is a father of two young sons.

Bryant is charged with murder and is being held in the Leon County Jail.


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